Only in America, folks. And if you get the right 6 pack of Cracker Jack boxes, you can get a green card AND a driver’s license too, at least in South Carolina. (I got suggestions for other things to add to this list, but I’ll do us all a favor and leave off the things I don’t know anything about.) That’s how it’s looking these days, anyway.
Joking aside, I believe that the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the season that follows is an important reminder to us that we should be thankful for what we’ve got every day, and we shouldn’t need a holiday to remind us of that. We should be thankful whether it’s a sandwich on the desk tomorrow afternoon or a turkey on the table Thursday. We have so much abundance, but unfortunately it seems that we’re more programmed to gripe about what’s missing than grateful for what is. I know it’s been said over and over, but we go about it completely backwards. Why should the Lord give us more if we aren’t happy and thankful with what we’ve got? If our current blessings are giving us grief, then why compound it?
I’ve heard a lot of people complaining lately. A lot of people are unhappy, frustrated, and outdone with their problems. OK, it’s true that no life is perfect. We all have problems of one sort or another. As the saying goes, you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at one time. You can have this today, but that may not come until tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year –and by that time, who knows what or where the this from today will be? It may well have passed on with another season of life. I know from first hand experience that things can change in the blink of an eye, causing things you never imagined to shift irrevocably and permanently. The blessings you take for granted (or even complain about) today can be gone forever tomorrow, so you better enjoy what you’ve got, while you’ve got it. That’s a lesson I hope you never have shoved down your throat as I did a few years back. Of course, it seems to be one that creeps up on us all at one time or another. So I’ll do you a favor and tell you today: be thankful every day, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
There’s another side to the coin, though. Being thankful can bring more blessings to you. You reap what you sow, after all, so if you’re happy and thankful, then more good things will come to you. Think about that: you can compound your blessings, and all you have to do is the best with what you’ve got! That’s so easy, it’s mind boggling. Everything I’ve read whether religious or secular points to gratitude as the number one key to improving your life. It’s a snowball effect either way. Be thankful, and you can compound your joy. Gripe, and compound your misery. The choice is yours each and every day, and you can reset from grumpy to grateful anytime. I know I have to. Like everybody else, society programmed me to troubleshoot problems instead of enjoying joy, so I often find myself having to “check myself” to get on a right track again. As you saw last week, there are times it can be a struggle, like when you’re sick and stressed out. But you can be in it to win it, and I encourage you to join me on the journey to creating more positive life energy.
So this holiday season, don’t be a Grinch because that’s self sabotage of the worst sort. You don’t have to be an obnoxious elf either, but you can have a simple gratitude that brings you the peace and joy of a balanced life. Now isn’t that better than being twisted in knots of worry and anxiety; scaring Santa away from a 100 mile radius of your house with a violent temper; driving like a beast on the Nascar circuit; giving yourself a miserable holiday and Jake from State Farm a holly-jolly Christmas with a heck of a bonus off your back? (Or worse yet, the funeral director some end of the year cha-ching from your family?)Come on, folks; it doesn’t have to be this way. I know changing your thinking is the hardest thing in the world to do, but its well worth it. Don’t you want joy? Don’t you want peace? Then don’t shelf thankfulness for a holiday. Do it every day. Life, peace, joy, and harmony is much better than the poison that society tries to force feed you with constant complaints, unrealistic expectations, and a refusal to accept and deal with the reality that the Lord has given you.
Accept what is. Do the best with what you’ve got. Mind your manners and be your best self at all times and in all circumstances. And most of all, know what is and isn’t your business, and tend to your own. You can’t control other people and there are a great many circumstances the Lord brings that are also beyond your control, so do what you can and leave it alone. That’s not being cold or uncaring; it’s being realistic and protecting yourself from the devil stealing your joy. You serve others by being at your best. So give them your most awesome self, not your most asinine self.
And that’s what Thanksgiving every day is all about, Charlie Brown!
I hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Have fun, be careful, and remember that Thanksgiving never really ends in a life of peace and joy.